Gratitude… Something we feel and/or express when a kindness has been bestowed upon us. Whether it is the gentle touch of a warm breeze, the sight of vibrant flowers or incredible waterfalls, or receiving a gift from someone we love, we are momentarily blissed and blessed. Or maybe gratitude is when we remind ourselves of the beauty that surrounds us, the people we encounter, or the friends and family we love. I often remind myself how blissed and blessed we have been to be full-time RV travelers, visiting exquisite parts of this country.
Gratitude is honoring the value of something or someone in our lives. It’s acknowledging and affirming the goodness flowing to and through us. Gratitude is a conscious action of appreciation. And we should not take this conscious act for granted. Many of us spend a good part of our days on autopilot, awake but not fully present as we go through the motions of work life and family life. When we give thanks for something small or large, though, we pause in that moment—awake and aware—to consciously express our appreciation.
We might meditate or pray on gratitude. We might keep a journal declaring our gratefulness to tangibles or intangibles. We might write notes or emails stating our appreciation, or say “thank you” at the moment of receiving something gracious.
We know that being grateful lifts our energy and our spirits, strengthens our relationships to others and to our Higher Self and God, and centers us in the present.
But when the chips are down, and we are feeling vulnerable, scared, or alone, gratitude takes on a deeper, visceral meaning when we are touched with kindness. It is overwhelming. It is humbling. It is struggling to recognize our own worth when others so clearly see it.
To a friend who graciously lets us camp in her yard for months instead of a few days; to those who take time from their busy schedule to give me a ride; to those who check in regularly to ask how I am doing; to those who reach out with offers to borrow their vehicle; to those who offer us their spare room because they understand it is uncomfortable to live in an Airstream in cold weather; to those who let us throw our trash and recyclables in their cans; to those who make homemade chicken soup for me; to my family and friends who would do anything for me; to those who lift my spirits; to those who take care of things to make my life easier; to those who so freely give their money to help with incurred medical expenses; and so much more: I am humbled. I am brought to sobbing tears (rather frequently of late!). I don’t know how best to express how I feel. Saying “thank you” seems so small, when I have been moved so incredibly deeply. Gratitude just doesn’t seem to be enough.
Gratitude at this level is a lesson in value—my own as well as everyone else’s. We all play a vital role in each other’s lives. We don’t really understand the importance of this until we are brought to our knees by something out of our control, and others reach in to help and lift us up.
It is all good. It is all worthwhile. You are all worthwhile.
And so am I.
P.S. ~ An update: I had a needle biopsy of a lymph node in my neck on February 3, 2022. My followup appointment to get results and a treatment plan is scheduled for February 14, 2022. I have some constant back pain from “pathologic fractures,” but Ibuprofen helps. Otherwise, all is good.